But the greatest of these is love.”
1Corinthians 13:13, NIV
Some might say, “I have tried to live the Christian life and failed.” Their problem is that they tried to live the Christian life without the necessary motivation. Human effort will never be enough to help a person obey God. You must have a love for God that comes out of a deep sense of gratitude for who God is and what God has done. The Bible teaches that Jesus died on the cross as a demonstration of God’s love for us. (Romans 5:8) When a person recognizes and responds to God’s love, they never get over what God has done. Their love for Him causes them to worship Him and obey Him all the rest of their life.
Many have said, “I just fell out of love.” When love is rooted in gratitude for all God has done, there is no falling out of love. There is only an ever-increasing experience of the love of God in a person’s life.
The Bible says this love for God spills over into our human relationships. When Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” He responded, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37) A love for God brings a mature love to our human relationships. It makes our love more sacrificial, more genuine, more patient, more pure, more truthful, and more trusting. It makes our love less self-centered, less proud, less envious, less likely to be frustrated.
It is never wrong to love. Do not short change love. It is a precious and powerful gift. Every person needs to develop a full and mature concept of what love really is.
QUESTION: Consider what motivates you to obey God. Is it love? How might God want your love to mature?